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Mamata balms chit fund victims with Rs 500-crore relief

Mamata balms chit fund victims with Rs 500-crore relief
The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the investors allegedly duped by the Saradha group and said that no one, including the Trinamool Congress MPs, would be spared if found guilty.

‘The Government will set up a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the affected small and medium investors of Saradha group. Their names will be recommended by the commission of inquiry which has been set up,’ Banerjee said on Wednesday.

‘How many CPM MPs have stashed their money and with how much did they run their party? And, a news channel identifying others will be exposed,’ she said. Banerjee said, out of Rs 500 crore, Rs 150 crore would be raised by imposing tax on tobacco products. The balance would be garnered without burdening the people, she told the media. She said that the affected investors should give the details of their investments to the commission to be headed by former CJ of Allahabad high court Shyamal Sen.

With the Trinamool Congress government under fire over the alleged fraud, senior party leader Saugata Roy blamed central agencies like RBI for not taking requisite action in the matter. ‘The Centre did not take action. RBI could have taken steps. But it did not act,’ Roy, a TMC Lok Sabha member, told an agency.

To a question on the return of money to the defrauded depositors, he said that the West Bengal government had no role in it. ‘Even if the state government wanted it cannot do so. It has to be done at the direction of the High Court. If the matter later goes to court and a liquidator is appointed, then it can be done,’ he said, adding that government has instituted a SIT probe and a high-level inquiry into it.

Meanwhile, the Income Tax department will probe investments and finances of Saradha group. Showcause notices for production of documents and recording of statements of promoters, investors and prominent agents in this case could be issued soon, the I-T officials said. The I-T department will also go through the business and personal accounts of the Chairman of the Saradha group Sudipta Sen and his close associates.
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